Warriors slaughter Zebre
PRO14 REPORT: DTH van der Merwe returned to his old stomping ground with two scores to help Glasgow Warriors to a ten-try 68-7 victory over Zebre at Scotstoun.
Glasgow were dominant right from the off and built a strong first-half lead thanks to doubles from van der Merwe and Ruaridh Jackson, adding to a penalty try and Henry Pyrgos’ score.
In the second half Carlo Canna registered the away side’s only try, but Glasgow accelerated away with scores for Zander Fagerson and Callum Gibbins.
There was still time for replacement Lelia Masaga to enter the fray and score the final try of the night, helping to extend Glasgow's lead at the top of Conference A.
The home side piled on the pressure early on and were rewarded just eight minutes in when van der Merwe touched down out wide following powerful work from the forwards and a floated pass from Adam Hastings.
The flyhalf then made the acute conversion and Glasgow were soon up-field once again, with Jackson touching down under the posts following a clever quick penalty from scrum-half Pyrgos.
Zebre had the chance to fire back minutes later with two penalties kicked into the 22, but the resulting line-out wasn’t successfully collected.
On 23 minutes Jones intercepted a loose pass, kicked through and was then adjudged to have been tackled without the ball – a penalty try the result and a yellow card for Canna.
With the extra man, a set-play then got the Warriors’ bonus-point score, van der Merwe cutting through from a lineout move to dive over for his second.
Hastings then made a break which Pyrgos was on hand to finish off, and just before the break Jackson completed his double resulting from a delightful miss-pass on the blindside.
After the break Glasgow's good night continued, with Jones this time getting his name on the scoreboard as he finished off a move from broken play.
Eight minutes later though and Zebre had their first score of the night as Canna got himself over the line and converted his own try.
The Warriors responded and hammered away at the opposition line until Fagerson was able to force his way over, and just before the hour mark Gibbins marked his return with a try from the back of a maul.
Replacement Masaga then got in on the act with 15 minutes left to play, collecting a pass from Peter Horne and barging over under the posts for his first try for the club.
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Van der Merwe 2, Jackson 2, Penalty Try, Pyrgos, Jones, Fagerson, Gibbins, Masaga
Cons: Hastings 8
Glasgow: 15 Ruaridh Jackson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Callum Gibbins (captain), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Siua Halanukonuka, 19 Kiran McDonald, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 George Horne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Lelia Masaga.
Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Gabriele Di Giulio, 13 Serafin Bordoli, 12 Faialaga Afamasaga, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani (captain), 8 James Tucker, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Leonard Krumov, 4 David Sisi, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Cruze Ah-Nau.
Replacements: 16 Thomas D'Apice, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Roberto Tenga, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Jacopo Sarto, 21 Riccardo Raffaele, 22 Maicol Azzolini, 23 Rory Parata.
Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Ian Davies, Adam Jones (Wales)